Semi-Daily Journal Archive

The Blogspot archive of the weblog of J. Bradford DeLong, Professor of Economics and Chair of the PEIS major at U.C. Berkeley, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Yes, It Is Finally Time for "Snakes on a Plane"!

Flashboy writes:

Flashboy: Review: Snakes on a MOTHER------- PLANE : One of the greatest moments in the history of Newsnight Review (or The Late Review, as it was then) was when Tom Paulin somehow managed to find deep meaning in Speed. Somewhere around Sandra Bullock's line about "what did we do to this guy - did we attack his country?", Paulin convinced himself that it was actually an insightful look at individual alienation in a fracturing world, or something.

This would not have happened with Snakes On A Plane.

Snakes On A Plane tries to do nothing other than to mine every possible nugget of fun from that old, old story - what happens when a crime lord tries to kill a key witness by putting a load of (SPOILER) snakes on a plane. There is no social realism. There is no analysis of political agency or the innate prejudice that lurks beneath the facade of civilisation. The snakes are not symbols for anything, except for how awesome snakes are.

It is, thank f---, not Crash.

It knows what it is. It is a snakes on a plane movie. The director knows what it is, the cast know what it is, and Samuel L Jackson (throwing himself into it, super serious, like there's an Oscar for Best Reptile Antagonist) sure as hell knows what it is. The studio, of course, didn't know what it was for quite a long time, but finally they just threw their hands up and went with the flow.

It has the best snake/toilet scene I have ever witnessed....

It's funny, really funny; sometimes with an overt, campy winkiness, other times just through sheer, joyful oversnaking. And it's also a proper gory eat 'em up, with several guaranteed frights and plenty of gruesome herpetological face-twatting....

The non-Jackson cast are also enjoyable, manfully refusing to act like they're in Airplane! when many of them really actually are playing characters from Airplane!. It has Julianna Margulies from ER. It has Nancy from Peep Show as a vacuous bimbette with a dog. It has Champ Kind from Ron Burgundy playing the co-pilot, and playing him as Champ Kind from Ron Burgundy. Whammy!

Criticisms? Sure. Duh. The tone flaps about a bit, as I said.... But really, it hardly matters. It's an unashamed and unafraid out-and-out creature-feature, a righteous chunk of OTT snakesploitation that puts the snakes right where you want them. On a motherf------ plane. It's not quite at the level of a classic like Tremors - but with any luck, the sequel can improve on that. Snakes on a Plain: Snakes v Graboids. You know it would work.

Hippos on a Helicopter
Penguins in a Porsche
Yaks on a Yacht
Tyrannosaurs on a Train
Beetles on a Bus
Cougars on a Catamaran...

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